Myrtle Beach congressman gets a familiar challenger, and so does S.C. governor

For Weekly SurgeApril 1, 2014 

This week in Under the Outhouse news, S.C. District 7 Congressman Tom Rice gets a familiar challenger, the race for S.C. governor turns into a threesome, and birth control becomes a basic human right.

Democrat Gloria Bromell Tinubu Files to Challenge Rice Again

Gloria Tinubu, who previously challenged Rice in 2012 for the seat he now olds, filed to run against him again in November. In a statement released upon filing to run in 2014, Tinubu blamed Rice for failing to bring jobs or infrastructure projects to the district. To Rice’s credit, he has been working to route $33 million of federal money to fund the dredging of Georgetown’s port, which he says could possibly add $30 million to the Georgetown’s economy. However, this has been about it as far as the legendary “jobs” plan Rice ran on in 2012 (and it’s not as if funneling federal tax dollars to local areas is a particularly “conservative” move). So, Tinubu’s presence in the race may force Rice to dig a little deeper than repeating “jobs” over and over and hoping to get sent back to Washington. Tinubu is no greenhorn in politics, and her background in economics could serve useful as Congress struggles to figure out this whole debt thing (everybody wants their $33 million; not just Georgetown). Put Tinubu on your Google News Alerts and follow her campaign, and do the same for Rice as well. And, if either one of them says, “Jobs!” follow up with, “How?”

A Libertarian Makes it a Gubernatorial Three-way

Charleston-area businessman Steve French is preparing to enter the fray for governor of The Palmetto State. He faces incumbent Nikki Haley (Republican) and State Senator Vincent Sheheen (Democrat). What’s French running on? Marriage rights for gay couples, ending South Carolina’s war on drugs, school choice, and a slew of government reform intended to make politicians more accountable to the people. Now it’s a party. Sure, French has almost no shot at winning, but that’s not the point of his long-shot run. Libertarians such as French keep both sides honest; when you’re more fiscally conservative than the Republican (as French is), and support greater personal freedom than the Democrat (as French does), the major party candidates have to work harder to earn the support of their base. For Sheheen, that could be a problem. In a world where even Republicans are vocally in support of same-sex marriage, Sheheen still sides with government-sponsored bigotry. And, since ObamaCare is likely to hit Democrats hard in the polling booth, it’s going to take a near-miracle to stir the base enough to unseat a relatively safe Haley (and the Lord does not like those with hate in their heart, Mr. Sheheen). In the end, we can at least hope for either a more fiscally conservative Haley, or a more socially tolerant Sheehan. If you want to make 2014 a little more interesting, go to www.FrenchForFreedom.com and toss him a few bucks.

Religious Freedom vs. The Right to Birth Control

In a rational world, an individual who voluntarily works for an employer, and voluntarily accepts employer-provided healthcare, would not eventually decide to sue this employer for healthcare coverage discrepancies. It would seem that the easiest solution would be to find a new job, or getting individual coverage. But, this is America, where everything is a basic human right; including birth control. Oral arguments were heard last week in the Supreme Court case Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, in which the for-profit company Hobby Lobby claims it has a religious right to exclude contraceptives from insurance coverage, even though it is required by new federal health legislation. On the surface, one may believe birth control is a basic human right (like free speech), or that it is absurd that corporations have individual rights (though, as Family Research Council’s Travis Weber notes, companies like TOMS conduit the views of their human owners all the time). Religious views are no different than humanitarian views in that religious views are protected by the Constitution. And, that is essentially what this boils down to. Given that religious freedom is the literal cornerstone to our nation, it deserves consideration to say the least. Regardless of how one personally views religion, it is hard to call something a right when it requires another person be deprived of other rights. You have a right to stand on a street corner and preach to the masses, but you do not have a right to an audience that will listen. The same applies for so-called “right to birth control,” provided at the moral objection by employers. That is, morally – not legally, which is what the Supreme Court will now decided. Don’t let the hysteria of the fringes hijack the debate on this case; it’s not Religion vs. the Uterus. It’s the balance of negative rights versus positive rights, and that’s a discussion that deserves far more depth than the latest “Action Alert” from political groups asking for an emergency handout.

Andrew Davis is a Myrtle Beach native and former Director of Communications for the national Libertarian Party. Contact him at SCPundit@gmail.com, or follow on Twitter at @SCPundit.

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